Grand Rapids, Michigan man convicted in fire deaths of wife, 3 sons

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) – A Grand Rapids, Michigan man blamed for a fire that killed his wife and three sons has been found guilty of four counts of involuntary manslaughter.

A Kent County jury deliberated about an hour and a half Friday before convicting 40-year-old Robert Scales.

Prosecutors said he used a fire pit too close to his family’s home. Scales said the fire was out when he left for work, but investigators said they believe winds picked up and possibly sent a burning ember toward a mattress stacked next to the house.

The Feb. 4, 2020, fire killed 35-year-old Wanedia Scales and the couple’s three sons, 15-year-old Xavier Woleab, 14-year-old Robert Scales Jr. and 10-year-old Elijah Scales.